Phoenix Rising: A Tale of a Supernatural Convention in Vegas


OMJ! I just got back from a concert! (Or at least I had ‘just’ when I started writing this blog a week ago…) A real, live, in the flesh, full-on concert, with lights and venue and big energy!

Rob Benedict, Louden Swain, Supernatural Convention Las Vegas 2022
Rob Benedict of Louden Swain, Saturday Night Special Concert

My first big concert in two years, thanks a lot, COVID!!! And isn’t it rather apropos that my very last concert before the pandemic was by the same band (Louden Swain), in the same city (Las Vegas), in the same March weekend (March 5-8, 2020 and March 3-6, 2022), for the same Supernatural Convention, as tonight’s show.

Billy Moran Jensen Ackles Jared Padalecki Supernatural Convention Las Vegas 2022
Billy Moran, Jensen Ackles, and Jared Padalecki

That last concert and convention took place right on the cusp of the beginning of this pandemic in North America. We were trepidatious, treading carefully into the unknown , naive and assuming it wouldn’t last long. Masks were not a thing then, but hand sanitizers and no touch rules bound the convention for the first time.

Misha Collins Supernatural Convention Las Vegas 2022
Misha Collins

That convention wasn’t just the last concert for me, it was the last plane ride, last trip out of my province, and last in person mass event thing I did for those last two years. I got off the plane at home on March 9, 2020 and the world locked down mere days later. No more travel, no more conventions, no more live music (GASP!).

Ruth Connell Supernatural Convention Las Vegas 2022
Ruth Connell

I mean, there was the super intimate Edmonton Folk Fest mini neighbourhood performance I attended 16 months later, which involved an audience of about 20-30 sitting on the street, spaced apart in pods, watching the musicians perform on a flatbed truck for a stage. It was an ingenious way to bring live music to the people during the few restrictions of that time. It felt like a break from the COVID world, a much needed but momentary lifting of a communal weight off our shoulders between phases. But not yet a full-fledged concert, more an interlude to something bigger, if you will.

Alex Calvert Supernatural Convention Las Vegas 2022
Alex Calvert Supernatural Convention Las Vegas 2022

Coming to this Louden Swain concert, and the Supernatural Convention it belonged to, in the same city, almost to the exact date, as the last one, felt like the other bookend to the pandemic.

Briana Buckmaster Supernatural Convention Las Vegas 2022
Briana Buckmaster

Being in spaces again with about a thousand people, sharing this love of a tv show and its actors and musicians in person, shed that two year old skin of lockdowns, anxiety, unknowns, obsession with numbers of cases, deaths, and hospital beds and brought a renewal of life – a phoenix bursting through its pandemic ashes.

Jared Padalecki 3/4 profile Supernatural Convention Las Vegas 2022

This feeling of rebirth was tangible throughout the convention. The crowd was energetic and appreciative. The actors, lively, excited to be there with us and with their cast-mate friends, many of whom, they stated over and over, they hadn’t seen in person in over those two years.

Samantha Smith Supernatural Convention Las Vegas 2022
Samantha Smith

This sense of rejoicing, reunion, renewal, was no more evident than in Timothy Omundson’s two panels and the audience’s super warm, emotional standing ovations – leaving nary a dry eye in the stands nor on the stage – both times he walked onto the stage.

Tim Omundson (wiping his tears from the Standing O with his mask) with Richard Speight, Jr. and Billy Moran

Tim is the epitome of the phoenix who rose with such grace and strength from a stroke in 2017. He was at the Vegas convention in 2020 as well. Seeing him again two years later, much improved in health and surrounded by the clear love and deep friendship of Richard Speight, Jr. and Rob Benedict, and by the love from the fans, it was… well it was the sum of these conventions – we all laughed, cried, watched in fondness, gave and bathed in support and kindness during his panels. The beautiful intensity and gamut of emotions did not falter throughout the rest of the four-day weekend.

Tim Omundson and Rob Benedict Supernatural Convention Las Vegas 2022
Tim Omundson and Rob Benedict

Kim Rhodes’ and Briana Buckmaster’s joint panels and the phenomenal Ladies’ panels (this time with Kim, Briana, Ruth Connell, Samantha, and Felicia Day) never cease to inspire.

Sam Ruth Felicia Kim And Briana Supernatural Convention Las Vegas 2022
Sam, Ruth, Felicia, Kim, and Briana

I’ve said it before, these conventions are part motivational speaker series, and these ladies are exactly why I say that. They exude life- intelligence and experience. They, like all of us, have moments of doubt, anxiety, and dwelling in the darkness, but they come with such openness to share their stories with humour, reflection, and kindness.

Felicia Day Supernatural Convention Las Vegas 2022
Felicia Day

As with the other two Supernatural conventions I’ve attended, it was easy to find themes that connected the panels. This one certainly had the thread of renewal – of living through these pandemic years and rising from the ashes, but there was also many conversations this weekend about diversity and representation in tv and film. Kim and Briana discussed how it isn’t just for the benefit of those from currently poorly represented groups. Seeing diverse perspectives and experiences benefits us all, it opens up our minds and hearts to the experiences of others.

Misha Collins Supernatural Convention Las Vegas 2022

As Misha Collins explained when talking about his new show Roadfood, he went in thinking he would find we, as humans, are all similar, but what he found was the opposite – we are so very different. We come from different cultures, beliefs, ways of being, etc., and there is beauty in that, and much to learn from each other.

Jared Padalecki Supernatural Convention Las Vegas 2022

Shoshanna Stern shared her experience of encountering barriers as a deaf person and noted that the barriers she faces as a deaf person are usually not due to her inability to hear but instead in non-deaf people telling her her lived experience as a deaf person is not the way it is for deaf people.

Shoshanna Stern Supernatural Convention Las Vegas 2022
Shoshanna Stern

This convention was the first for me with Shoshanna and with Tahmoh Penikett as guests, two of my favourite actors from the show (I mean, kinda tied for second place with everyone else on the show who isn’t Misha 🙂 … but shhh, I’m extremely biased and I know it). Watching these two on stage, listening to their stories for the first time was a highlight.

Tahmoh Penikett Supernatural Convention Las Vegas 2022
Tahmoh Penikett

The thing about these conventions is, for me anyways, I can’t help but deepen my fondness and appreciation for the actors after watching their panels. Everyone I have seen at a Supernatural convention becomes a favourite in the show, if they weren’t already. It’s symbiotic.

Matt Cohen Supernatural Convention Las Vegas 2022
Matt Cohen

The sharing of life experiences/stories is a long tradition of creating bonds and strengthening relationships. Whether familial, community, nation to nation, whatever – this practice humanizes us to and with each other, and I can’t help but connect during conventions, even if just from my introverted chair, far away from the stage.

And then there is the humour. The moments you just can’t plan for. This cast is just so charming and funny, especially when you put them together…

Adam Fergus dancing Supernatural Convention Las Vegas 2022
Adam Fergus demonstrating his stripper dancing skills

We laughed until we cried at Gabriel Tigerman’s interview of Jake Abel’s cold nipples (voiced by Samantha Smith) (the panel room was freezing cold, there were repercussions of that…)

And at the idea of David Haydn-Jones watching worm orgies… (don’t ask… just find the video on YouTube here…)

David Haydn-Jones Supernatural Convention Las Vegas 2022
David Haydn-Jones reacting to the audience’s collective mind dive into the gutter about worm orgies…

Tim busting a gut when a fan mentioned as part of her question that she and her friends refer to Cain as ‘Murder Daddy.’

Tim Omundson Supernatural Convention Las Vegas 2022
Tim reacting to Cain being called “Murder Daddy”

Then the was the moment when Jensen and a fan were discussing the reboot of some sci-fi tv show they both watched in their youth. Jared not catching on to which one they were talking about finally huffed, “I can’t believe I didn’t know about the re-boot!”

Jensen Ackles funny faces Supernatural Convention Las Vegas 2022
The funny faces of Jensen

“Too soon?!?!” he asked in reaction to the very loud groans from the audience (the comment was in reference to his Twitter post about being gutted at only hearing about Jensen’s Supernatural prequel plans on social media at the same time as everyone else…. it was pretty funny in his dry humour sort of way :P)

Jensen Comic Arms Supernatural Convention Las Vegas 2022
Jensen’s Comedy Arms

And then there was Misha, who shared the story of staying at Rich’s house while Rich and his family were away; and sleeping naked in Rich’s bed… and walking around naked before realizing there was a nest camera at waist height, right there….

And Misha, who raised $5000 usd for organizations helping in Ukraine in mere minutes during his panel.

And Misha.

And Misha.

(He might be my favourite… maybe by just a little bit…)

And then there was the always super cool Friday night Karaoke party where fans get to sing Karaoke with Louden Swain and various cast members.

Jensen and Rob – ‘Last Question’ song

And then the Saturday Night Special concert with Louden Swain. The concert I began this post with.

Rob Benedict and Kim Rhodes Supernatural Convention Las Vegas 2022
Rob and Kim singing the Beatles at SNS

This concert that held magic, transforming the world from two years of pandemic into pure joy, passion, bright lights, a shared humanity, humanness. This concert, my first since COVID, my rebirth, the reclaiming of my identity.

Billy Moran and Rich Speight Jr SNS Supernatural Convention Las Vegas 2022
Billy and Rich at SNS

That’s not to say the pandemic wasn’t still present throughout the concert and convention – Creation, the company that runs this convention set up a lot of ground rules to ensure everyone’s safety as much as possible, fans, guests, and their staff.

Jared and Jensen Supernatural Convention Las Vegas 2022

Regardless of Las Vegas’s more relaxed pandemic regulations, like for flying on planes, attendees had to show a negative covid test upon registering in person and masks were required at all times in the convention area unless eating, drinking, or taking oral medicine, or unless the actor was ok with you removing it for photo ops.

This new world order of learning to function around COVID-19 was part of that sense of renewal for me at this convention. Pre-COVID, my personal identity was deeply rooted in travelling and live events – conventions, concerts, plays, etc. COVID forcibly changed that. Travelling was only to be taken if essential, concerts etc. were cancelled. Sure, the introvert in me thrived in the quiet for the longest while, but I still yearned to fly, and the live music withdrawals were fierce.

Jason Manns SNS Supernatural Convention Las Vegas 2022
Jason Manns SNS

When the restrictions relaxed again and travel to the USA looked possible, I scrambled for this ticket, the chance to finally, two years later, reclaim my identity, my rebirth. As I’ve said before – I am, because I travel. I have equated concerts to breathing.

Michael Borja Louden Swain SNS Supernatural Convention Las Vegas 2022
Michael Borja Louden Swain SNS

So I got on the plane. And the other plane. I went to the crowded casino hotel. I sat surrounded by a thousand people who have all tested negative recently and shared my love for these crazy wonderful actors.

And I went to a concert.

Rob Benedict and Stephen Norton Louden Swain SNS Supernatural Convention Las Vegas 2022
Rob Benedict and Stephen Norton Louden Swain SNS

We danced, we bounced, we sang. We rose from the ashes of this pandemic stronger and more resilient. Ready to take on this new world with all we’ve learned!

So thank you, Supernatural Family. Thank you Louden Swain, this weekend was special in so many ways, but mostly, for making me feel like me again, the girl who goes to concerts, the girl who travels (to go to concerts).

Rich and Rob Supernatural Convention Las Vegas 2022
Our Hosts of the Convention Rich and Rob
Jensen Ackles Birthday Cake  Supernatural Convention Las Vegas 2022
Happy Birthday, Jensen!

For more photos, check out my Photo Gallery 2022.

Categories: Conventions, Live MusicTags: , , , , , , , ,

7 comments

  1. So happy for you. Yes this is a happy place for many of us. I saw Alice Cooper last September inBoston..it was ahmazing. I had 4 TH row seats & moved up to 3rd row❤️❤️Looking forward to seeing Aerosmith later this summer. Keep rocking & enjoy the music.

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  2. So happy for you. Yes this is a happy place for many of us. I saw Alice Cooper last September inBoston..it was ahmazing. I had 4 TH row seats & moved up to 3rd row❤️❤️Looking forward to seeing Aerosmith later this summer. Keep rocking & enjoy the music.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What an uplifting blog! I can feel your joy at spreading your wings again, and participating in the things you love.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think we might be kindreds. Maybe not surprising…there seem to be a lot of us “introverts who play at extroverting” in the SPN Family. Reading your blog made me sob, at times uncontrollably. Going to my first con in April, and I’m excited, and terrified, and excitedly terrified. Thanks for this wonderful blog post, and the truly breathtaking photos. ♥️🤗♥️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for the kind words! I am sure you will have an amazing time at your convention! Everyone is so warm and welcoming! If you aren’t a member yet, I recommend finding the Facebook group for the convention you will go too. It’s a wealth of information and support if you need it. If you have any questions at all on what to expect, or tips, feel free to ask them here and I can try to answer 😀

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